Coronavirus: Lakers star LeBron James enters NBA health, safety protocols

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the team said after Tuesday night’s game.

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James, 36, missed the Lakers’ game Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings, The New York Times reported. If James tested positive for COVID-19, he would miss at least 10 days, the newspaper reported.

The team has not confirmed if James has tested positive for the coronavirus. However, the NBA’s vaccinated players are sidelined by the league’s protocols only if they have registered positive or inconclusive tests, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s a huge loss,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said during Tuesday’s pregame news conference. “It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him right now. That’s where our thoughts are. We have a ‘next man up’ mindset.”

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Talen Horton-Tucker started in James’ place and scored two points, ESPN reported.

Anthony Davis of the Lakers noted that James “said he’s good.”

“I think he’s asymptomatic, which is a good sign,” Davis told reporters. “We want to make sure that he gets back. Health is most important. It’s bigger than basketball.”

Tuesday’s game was the 12th one James has missed this season, according to the Times. He missed 10 because of ankle and abdominal injuries, and missed one when he was suspended for the first time in his 19-season career earlier this month, the newspaper reported.

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On Friday, James was fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture during a game on Nov. 24 against the Indiana Pacers.

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